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TYLER - 1 NE 14:15-16. I want to understand these verses correctly. Is it the wrath of God causing rumors of war and inspiring actual war and all the hardships on the earth? It seems that this is what the angel is teaching Nephi. If so, why does Satan get blamed for wars when it seems it comes from Gods hand? How can we teach someone to be humble and choose Christ when reading this makes them feel the destruction comes from the one they pray to for relief?
JOEL - Earlier in the chapter it speaks of the the great and abominable church that was founded by the Devil. There are many opinions as to what represents this "church" of the Devil, but generally speaking it is any organization or groups of people or single individuals who have hardened their hearts against God and delight in committing sin and fighting against the Church of God and it's members.
God Himself does not cause rumors of war and destruction, the people do this on their own. But in His wrath and anger He withdraws Himself from them and allows it to happen by virtue of their agency, to choose wickedness (Verse 7). He does not intervene in the destruction that the church of the Devil brings upon itself. In the end the destruction comes from within, rather than from God.
"The blood of that great and abominable church, which is the whore of all the earth, shall turn upon their own heads; for they shall war among themselves, and the sword of their own hands shall fall upon their own heads, and they shall be drunken with their own blood. And every nation which shall war against thee, O house of Israel, shall be turned one against another, and they shall fall into the pit which they digged to ensnare the people of the Lord. And all that fight against Zion shall be destroyed, and that great whore, who hath perverted the right ways of the Lord, yea, that great and abominable church, shall tumble to the dust and great shall be the fall of it." (1 Ne. 22:13-14.)
So God doesn't destroy them; He simply allows them to destroy themselves and does not intervene. Faithful members of God's kingdom need not fear.
"And it shall come to pass, that if the Gentiles shall hearken unto the Lamb of God in that day that he shall manifest himself unto them in word, and also in power, in very deed, unto the taking away of their stumbling blocks—
And harden not their hearts against the Lamb of God, they shall be numbered among the seed of thy father; yea, they shall be numbered among the house of Israel; and they shall be a blessed people upon the promised land forever;" (1 Ne 14: 1-2)
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